(Spoilers ahead for the Nov. 4 episode of “The Walking Dead”)
“Walking Dead” Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple appeared on “Talking Dead” Sunday night after the purported final episode for star Andrew Lincoln and announced that the story of Rick Grimes will continue, but in a series of what he called “AMC original films” rather than one of the two “Walking Dead” TV series.
“These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features,” Gimple said in the press release that accompanied the announcement. “We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of ‘The Walking Dead’ and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by ‘TWD’ veterans and emerging voices. We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the ‘Dead’.”
On “Talking Dead,” Gimple stressed that Rick will not appear again on “The Walking Dead” series.
Andrew Lincoln himself chimed in with an appearance on “Talking Dead,” delivering this statement:
“It’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning. And I like the idea that we get to tell a bigger story, maybe with a sort of wider vista. And I’ve always been interested in what’s going on out there, you know, whether or not there is contact with the wider world. I want to know the meta of it all. And I suppose to be able to kind of touch upon that in a contained story for me is a very exciting proposition … Maybe it’s the start of a bigger story.”
No target release windows were given for the first of these Rick Grimes-focused films, but AMC is looking at early 2019 to start production.
Rick was last seen gravely wounded being flown away with Jadis (Polyanna McIntosh) on that mysterious helicopter that has been the subject of intense speculation since it first popped up early in season 8. The common thought is that it’s from the Commonwealth, a city of more than 50,000 residents that is the subject of the current arc in the comic book version of “The Walking Dead.”